Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Now We Need More Pickles

When I ducked downstairs to deliver a message to Matt, Emma was jumping up and down in front of the garage door, attempting to stick a magnet on the bottom of a picture hung just out of her reach. When I resurfaced a few moments later I heard her screaming in the garage, "Mo-mmy, come! Mo-mmy, come!" I raced to the door and found her standing, petrified, holding a gallon of milk and a bottle of chocolate syrup, staring at the open refrigerator door. (Yes, our refrigerator is in the garage, we live with our in-laws.)

"Do you need help closing the fridge?" I asked, confused. "No, woouh, bih-oouh (No, look, pickles)," she replied, still shaking. On the cement floor, in front of the open refrigerator, lay the shattered remains of a sweet pickle jar, a two-foot wide puddle of green juice, and four mortally-wounded pickles covered in glass shrapnel. "Oh, honey," I sighed, "are you OK? Did you touch any glass?"

I relieved her of the milk gallon and checked her over, she was fine. Then I surveyed the damage, trying to decide how best to decontaminate the six-foot radius of glass slivers. Emma watched sadly as I scooped up the broken jar and placed it in several layers of shopping bags. Her lip quivered as I walked past her to the garbage. "It's OK, Emma," I reassured her, "You're not hurt, and Mommy will clean it up."

"Oh no," she whined hopelessly, "now we nee moh bi-oouh (now we need more pickles)."

It's strange that a glass jar shatters--risking her injury and leaving me with twenty-minutes of dangerous clean-up--and somehow I had forgotten to mourn with Emma over the loss of the four sweet pickles. My words of comfort meant nothing to her until I wrote "sweet pickles" on the grocery list, showed it to her, and promised I would buy more at the next shopping trip. They can never replace the ones she dropped, but it's the best I can do.


  1. me too... although recently it's spicy pickles that make their way into my fridge.

  2. Uh huh, nobody mourns for the mother who risks her life cleaning up shards of glass ;)

    Larissa, are spicy german pickles really better than sweet amercian?